Anonymous Responds to Westboro Baptist Church’s Newtown Picketing Plans in Typical Anonymous Fashion

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A traditional Westboro protest. Photo: Bennett Raglin/2011 Bennett Raglin

You can count on the Westboro Baptist Church for one thing, and that is vowing to upset people at the scene of anything terrible that happens in America. On Sunday, members of the church tweeted their intention to picket President Obama's visit to Newtown, Connecticut, where they planned to"sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment" against the 27 people who were shot there on Friday. The Internet reacted swiftly, with a group of Redditors vowing to disrupt the protest with a "silent blockade." And then Anonymous (which has tangled with Westboro before) took things a step further, as they tend to do. Earlier today, the hacktivists published an extensive-looking list of Westboro congregants' names, along with personal information like their home addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers, thereby enabling ordinary citizens to get in on the harassment game (for a good cause!) Anonymous also went ahead and started a petition to legally recognize Westboro as a hate group and posted a video explaining their reasons and methods for targeting the church. It probably won't tell you anything new about either organization, but it's a good way to work up some righteous anger and/or revolutionary zeal.